NEW DELHI, April 4 (Xinhua) -- At least 15 security personnel were killed and many injured in an encounter with armed rebels, called the "Naxals", in India's central state of Chhattisgarh, a security personnel confirmed on Sunday.
The number of casualties among the security personnel is feared to rise. The encounter began Saturday.
Around ten Naxals, including a couple of women rebels, were also killed in the encounter that took place in a forest area near Sukma and Bijapur districts of the state, said media reports.
According to the security personnel, over 30 security personnel were injured and nearly 21 were still missing. Search operation is still on in the forest area to recover the dead bodies and those missing, he added.
According to sources, there were more than 200 Naxals who ambushed the security personnel on Saturday afternoon.
Some of those injured were shifted to a hospital in state capital Raipur, while the rest were admitted to a local hospital.
Paying his homage to those killed in the encounter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that his thoughts were with the families of those martyred while fighting the Naxals in Chhattisgarh.
"The sacrifices of the brave martyrs will never be forgotten. May the injured recover at the earliest," he added.
Indian Home Minister Amit Shah also expressed condolences at the deceased the security personnel.